Ecosystem aspects of arsenic poisoning: Human exposure to arsenic from food chain

IOS Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution, 2008, 5 (2), pp. 79 - 84
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Although the main source of arsenic to human body is ground water, the use of arsenic contaminated ground water for irrigation gives rise to the question whether arsenic uptake in crop plants could also be another potential pathway of human exposure to arsenic. Arsenic content in straw, grain and husk of rice is especially important as rice is the staple food for man and straw and husk have been used as cattle feed. It was estimated that the daily intake of arsenic in human body from rice (containing 0.40 mg As/kg, the highest concentration of arsenic found in the present experiment in treatment containing 40 mg As/kg soil) is 0.20 to 0.32 mg/day (as the average consumption of rice by the people above five years old is between 400 and 650 gm/day) whereas it is 0.20 mg/day from drinking water (as the recommended safe level arsenic in drinking water is 0.05 mg As/l for Bangladesh and the average intake of water by an adult is about four litres). This finding suggests that arsenic intake in human body through rice could be a potential pathway in addition to drinking water. Therefore, a hypothesis have been put forward that the human beings have not been suffering from arsenicosis only from drinking water but also from "Plant-Animal-Man" and some other food chain pathways
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